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Friday: Shui and Qiézi to Nanjing

Shui = water; Zai jian = goodbye (Qiézi = eggplant)

Today "The 6" had a late start due to the previous night's celebration. "The 6?" you ask... Michael Conrardy, Gavin Feiger, Allison King, Aaron Sobel and Justin Whittet have accepted Lei Yue as their tour guide, collaborator, group member and friend. In short, she is amazing and we like her very much!!!

The first moments of the day were spent grabbing the rare cup of delicious coffee in China, some pastries, and a street "egg McMuffin". We followed the morning's deliciousness with a paddle boat journey out on the lake. The ungreased axel of the pedal boat, combined with the 90 degree heat, resulted in a hard earned lake tour, complete with views of the skyline. This was Lei Yue's first experience on an boat and in her own words she was "Stoked!"

After boating came an adventure to the pool at Nanjing University for a Chinese style swim lesson. After a little confusion getting into the locker rooms and interpreting hand motions from the locker room attendant, we donned our required swimming caps and headed out, heads above the speedo-wearing Chinese. Basically, the Americans taught swimming to a inexperienced but confident Lei Yue. Unfortunately, we don't have any pictures of us in our swimming caps and board shorts but use your imagination.

We lunched at the University cafeteria, selecting an assortment of noodles, veggies, dumplings, and stuffed fried "pies". It was delicious and very cheap. The day was finished by purchasing some Nanjing University memorabilia.

Tonight will be quiet as "The 6" reminisce about their time in China, while enjoying a couple drinks and perhaps some liar's dominoes, a game we invented last night after returning to the hotel from a western-style bar on 1912 street. We are already starting to miss China, each other, and our new friends. Leaving Nanjing will be very hard and leaving China and each other even harder, but we are trying not to think about that yet.

Tomorrow we group will start to say good-bye and become "The 5" once more. We will speed toward our day in Shanghai on a new high speed train that just opened yesterday. It reaches speeds of over 300 kilometers per hour and will cut our time in half, down to about 75 minutes. Depending on time and internet connections, we will have a blog entry tomorrow and we will definitely compose a final one en route to the States.

Wan an (good night)!